Are sexist studies more likely to be reported?

We’ve seen enough of those “women need to drink to have sex/women gain four thousand kilos during the first year of marriage/women who chop their nose off to spite their face have trouble smelling” studies to know that the answer is yes.

A story in today’s Sunday Telegraph (and also picked up by News.com.au): Kids healthiest when mum works part-time:

MOTHERS who work part-time raise healthier children than stay-at-home mums or those with full-time jobs, new research has revealed.

A study of more than 4500 Australian pre-schoolers found kids of part-time mums eat less junk food, watch less television and are less likely to be overweight or obese.

Apparently it’s a “surprise finding” that when an adult is around to make sure kids don’t sit in front of the tv eating junk food, kids don’t spend as much time sitting in front of the tv eating junk food.

Talk about a guilt trip – the study is called Do Working Mothers Raise Couch Potato Kids?. If you’re a stay-at-home mum or a mum who works full time, it’s your fault you have fat lazy kids.

Thing is, policing junk food and tv watching isn’t just something mothers do. Surely if you’re going to spend the time and money researching this, you should be looking at all parents who work part-time, not just the ones with vaginas.

9 responses to “Are sexist studies more likely to be reported?

  1. It’s in the same boat as being told that leaving your child at a daycare centre is ‘child abuse’ (thanks Mem Fox)

  2. outragedofmarrickville

    Wow – another article aimed at making women feel guilty. This weekend’s papers make it pretty hard to for women to get a break. On one hand we have this – work full time and you will destroy your child or the article I read on gold diggers (nice) cos we are all too lazy or stupid to work and ultimately just want a man to look after us. So work = child abuse and not working = gold digging. Awesome.

    Ps I see the connection – if you are not at home (i.e. out working) then working women are also accused of child abuse if they use day care. A friend of mine was accused of child abuse by a total stranger for bottle feeding her baby. Men are not accused of abuse if they go back to work and here in lies the age old sexism (as you point out). It shits me. Heaping on the guilt is so unncessary, especially as many working mothers feel dreadful about leaving their children (especially when they are young) as it is..but needs must and dollars need earning.

    • Yeah, it was a pretty rough weekend for women in the Sydney papers. And don’t forget that studying for a doctorate = excuse not to breed.

      I see the connection now – on first reading, I thought it was about forgetting to pick up the kids, rather than putting them in child care. Oops.

      • Sorry replied again above before reading this. My wife copped the bottle feeding crap with our youngest as her milk wasn’t coming through well enough and our daughter had terrible reflux. ‘Breast is Best’ they would say with a condescending look (sometimes it was a look of horror)

        • My sister in law and several friends have bottle-fed their kids because breast-feeding just didn’t work for them – too painful/not enough milk/the baby just didn’t like it. And all of them copped the frowns too. Surely it’s about what is best for both mother and baby? Another friend told me a few days ago that the “lactation consultant” at the hospital was incredibly dismissive and didn’t give her any information. But another friend said she had a great nurse teach her how to breast feed and she wouldn’t have been able to do it without her help.

          • Well my aunty has been nursing for nearly 50 years. All of this time in paediatrics and indeed she is the head of paediatric nursing at a prominent Brisbane hospital. She told me yes breast feeding is preferrable but that there was absolutely nothing wrong with formula and indeed problems with breast feeding are quite common. As she put it ‘ if it’s not working and the baby isn’t getting fed enough with breast, it would be stupid to persist.’

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